The state of photo sharing

This is 2014. This doesn’t seem like a a problem that still needs solving, yet we still don’t have a de-facto platform for private and semi-private photography sharing and backup.

I use Apple’s built-in apps and tools.



  • vinaeco

    yarly.co is solving this problem .. connect any cloud storage, share privately, back up

  • gjgustav

    I miss Mobile Me galleries. If I wanted to share a some photos with some people, I made a mobile me gallery and stuck a password on it. A few clicks and it’s done. Can’t do that anymore unless everyone has an iCloud account.

    And the other sites I’ve found are too cumbersome to upload and don’t offer a nice page to view the photos.

    • Slurpy2k11

      Not really. You can simply add the photos to a shared photostream via iCloud, make it public, and share the URL. The option is a bit obscure and the process non-intuitive, however. I do agree that Apple needs a better solution for cloud photo backup and access. Something like Google+ auto-upload. Basically, a reverse photostream where everything you take is saved to the cloud, and only a certain # of photos are “cached” to your device, with older ones being constantly deleted. I would gladly pay money for this service. Right now, I use Google+ for photo backups (auto-upload) but honestly I’d rather I kept them with Apple.

      • gjgustav

        You can’t have a password protected gallery with iCloud.

  • Stephen Middlehurst

    Far bigger problem (IMO) is getting photos up to sharing sites in the first place. If you’re using a smartphone or tablet it’s fairly painless (though there’s certainly still room for improvement) but good lord are the big ‘professional’ camera companies way behind on this. In 2014 I can’t think of a single DSLR that has a good workflow set of tools built in out of the box.

  • yummyyummyfly

    Here’s another problem with App Store ratings and reviews (in case someone from Apple is reading):

    I gave a highly negative rating and review to an app sometime back. About a year later they came out with an update which fixed all the problems I had with it. I updated my rating and review to 5 stars and a very positive note, respectively.

    However, my rating and review only show up if one clicks on ratings and reviews for “All Versions.” That is, my feedback is only showing up for the original version of the app.

    But this is obviously not the right way for it to show up. My positive rating and review were for the current version of the app, not the original version. They should show up when one clicks on ratings and reviews for the “Current Version”.

    $ 0.02

    • GadgetGav

      wrong thread?

      • yummyyummyfly

        Yep — sorry about that!

  • Odi Kosmatos

    I don’t understand how Jim can say that he uses Apple’s build-in apps and tools. I am an Aperture user, but the whole thing is a bloody mess. We were promised that the Mac would be demoted and that iCloud will now be the hub of our digital lives, but we are definitely not there at the moment with respect to photos.

    I won’t write a novel, but suffice it to say that I am forced to store all my photos at home instead of iCloud, because that service only keeps the last 1000 or 30 days worth or something like that (photostream). I have to manage backups and make sure my family has these photos 20 years down the line. Even if you do manage to use iCloud, people can’t access the photos from the web unless you goof around making albums with everything, and even then, there’s no URL to share.

    Some people at work use Google’s cloud photo solution and have all their photos accessible from all their devices all the time. They don’t store them at home anymore.

    When I take photos with my iPhone, they go into Camera Roll and Photostream, but Photostream drops them after a while, and at some point Camera Roll needs emptying, but you have to get to a Mac to do it.

    It’s a mess. How many times have I logged into iCloud.com and wished there was a ‘Photos’ icon. The place has nothing of the sort.

    • websnap

      If you add photos to shared streams, they stay up past the 30 day/1000 photo limit. You can invite others to view, add and comment on any of them you give access to. I have photos in my “shared streams” well past what’s in my “Photo Stream”. Try it out.

      If you are an Aperture user, I think it would be safe to say you are an avid photographer, or at least a “shutter-bug”. I’m in the same boat as I have a ridiculously large photo library. I don’t expect to have all of my photos housed in the cloud without paying extra for it. Have you upgraded your iCloud storage?

      • Odi Kosmatos

        I don’t want to have to add photos to shared photo streams. I just want all photos we take with our iOS devices to never be lost. The only way to do that is with iPhoto or some other solution on a Mac.

        Furthermore, I’m of the school of thought that if I can’t figure out how to do something without being told about it in some forum, then it isn’t really something people are doing.

        The Aperture use has no bearing on anything. I’m just a father who wants to make sure the photos we take every year aren’t lost.

        I’d gladly pay $100 a year to store all our family photos and videos permanently in the cloud and have them be accessible to all our iOS devices and personal computers. But even that is not available.

        • websnap

          “The only way to do that is with iPhoto or some other solution on a Mac.”

          Or Aperture, since you are already in that. That’s how I add to Photo Stream. And it does have some bearing as the average person with a point and shoot or someone who just takes photos on their phone wouldn’t consider a pro-level app. Someone who does garner an interest in pro-level photography application do tend to take more photos at higher quality. That’s great, again – I’m in that same boat.

          While I agree that iCloud WILL become the hub of our digital lives, some of our digital footprints are bigger than the average persons. Most don’t need access to every photo they have ever taken on the go with them (though it would be great). In that instance I would go with something like flickr – as it has a 1Tb and with the app, is then available to you on your mobile device.

          Your needs, like my needs – aren’t really an average case.

          • Odi Kosmatos

            How about I erase Aperture, would that make you happy? I don’t need it.

            I am an average user. The only difference between me and everybody else is that I realize my photos are being deleted, and I am complaining that they aren’t accessible everywhere.

            Sigh.

          • websnap

            It’s not about making me happy. I’m not trying to be combative, I was genuinely trying to help you find a solution that would exist now that could help you.

            I am positive Apple will solve this at some point, maybe even soon since WWDC is coming in a little over a month. However one thing Apple hasn’t always done was allocate a lot of free drive space.

            To be clear, I wasn’t saying apple SHOULDN’T do what you are asking (that would be awesome) my comments were made because Apple doesn’t do this now, and with that in mind, what alternatives are available now.

          • Guest

            I want APPLE to solve this, I don’t want to have to mess around with 3rd parties for something iCloud should be doing. This is the company that recognized the need for, and grought people iLife. Suddenly there’s a gaping hole with photos. I do expect them to fix this…

          • websnap

            I also want apple to solve this, even if it is at an extra cost as even the $100/50 gb won’t be enough for many shooter’s libraries. I disagree with it being something that iCloud “should” be doing as this feature is added value. iCloud is not a Flickr competitor but adding it would be a pretty killer feature. Please remember that Apples servers do more than just store photos. Apple builds a platform an supplements it with apps and services but also create an environment where developers add greater and more specific value for those with note non-generic or beyond-average needs.

            I am positive the will increase storage for photography, but remember – as broad as apple’s offerings are, they are not in the photo-sharing business any more than they are in the e-mail business or the headphone business. They do what they do to get the ball rolling and if they underserve your needs, hopefully the platform they created is robust enough that skilled developers pick up the ball and move it further.

  • Terry Maraccini

    Don’t know that you would really want a defacto standard. Photo sharing for me across platforms, devices and media is trivial.

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    I use Apples products as well and they work flawlessly. I LOVE it!

    • Mike

      The price for reasonable storage through iCloud is ridiculous, and there is no web app. There is no way to share photos from a Mac unless you use the underpowered iPhoto. I don’t want a hanky workaround where I manually add photos to some Photostream in the hope that they are archived properly. I loved and paid for Everpix, and now I use PictureLife because Apple’s solutions are so poor.

  • http://jy.lv/ Kārlis

    People underestimate Flickr. I use it for album backups and “insta-pics” to share. Everyone gets free TB, old Pro accounts unlimited storage. But yes, iCloud is backwards.

    • websnap

      Apple’s problem in this arena (and in a lot of things) is sort of a catch-22. On the one hand we want/expect them to create amazing products and fill as many intricate needs as possible, many times even before we’ve though there even was a need (iDevices come to mind). On the other hand we also want/expect apple to continue to create a robust ecosystem so that inventive 3rd party devs have a great platform to come up with the “next…” without stepping on Apple’s toes.

      I think this is one of those examples where iCloud does so much (and for the most part, well) that were is falls short (large mobile photo curation), the ecosystem has paved the way for a solution like flickr to have tight ties to the OS, like Twitter and Facebook.

      I don’t really use Flickr for my uses – iCloud share streams work great for me – but if and when it doesn’t, It’s great that a solution is available that ties into both i/OS well.